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Cal Poly Pomona has always been known for producing graduates who are ready to take on the professional world because of its learn-by-doing approach to education. Now there’s even more evidence of the transformational qualities of a CPP education.

Cal Poly Pomona has recently been recognized as one of the best universities in the nation for helping graduates move up the socio-economic ladder. The Equality Opportunity Project ranks the university at No. 9 for helping students move from the bottom fifth in income earning to the top fifth. A separate report from PayScale places Cal Poly Pomona at No. 31 on its rankings list for best public university in-state value.

Students attending Cal Poly Pomona know they are getting an exceptional value in education both inside and outside of the classroom.

Before her freshman year, chemical engineering student Cinthia Ayala was sold on the complete CPP experience when she attended Engineering Scholar’s Day and the Women in Engineering Lunch Reception.

“It simply felt like the perfect fit for me,” said Ayala, a BroncoStampede Ambassador.

Ayala is a first-generation Mexican-American and is the first in her family to go to college. Her parents immigrated from Michoacan, Mexico, to fulfill the American Dream and provide a better future for her and her siblings. She is close to fulfilling that dream, electing to graduate in five years so she can work part-time.

Cinthia Ayala wearing a lab coat inside a lab room

Cinthia Ayala conducted research on solar panels using organic compounds.

“Being a first-generation college student definitely motivates me to keep furthering my education and provide a good example for the younger generations in my family, as well as in the Hispanic community,” Ayala said.

When Ayala graduates next June, her investment in Cal Poly Pomona will pay off better than most other universities.

According to PayScale’s report, a Cal Poly Pomona undergraduate degree has a 20-year return on investment (ROI) of $533,000.

PayScale’s report was used in Money Magazine’s annual college report on the best values in higher education. The average starting wages for a Cal Poly Pomona graduate is $51,500 a year, according to the report.

When I hit a rough patch, and think that I can no longer continue, I look back at all of the sleepless nights. I tell myself that if I already put in all that time and effort, I might as well keep going to the finish line no matter how long it takes

Ayala is ready to see her personal investment pay off.

“I am definitely aware that all of my efforts will pay off in the long run,” she said. “When I hit a rough patch, and think that I can no longer continue, I look back at all of the sleepless nights. I tell myself that if I already put in all that time and effort, I might as well keep going to the finish line no matter how long it takes. In addition, it sounds nice to think that by the time I am at age 24 I will be set for the future.”

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By Andres Cardenas
Published October 4, 2017